North

Tlicho, federal minister approve N.W.T. NICO mine

The Tlicho government and the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development have agreed with a review board recommendation that the gold, cobalt, bismuth and copper project move ahead.

Fortune Minerals estimates permitting will take 4 to 6 months

Fortune Minerals’ proposed NICO mine near Whati, N.W.T., got two key approvals this week.

The Tlicho government and the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development have agreed with a review board recommendation that the gold, cobalt, bismuth and copper project move ahead.

Rick Schryer, director of regulatory and environmental affairs for Fortune Minerals, says the company estimates it will take from four to six months to get the water licence and land use permits its N.W.T. NICO project requires. (CBC)

Rick Schryer, director of regulatory and environmental affairs for Fortune Minerals, said the company estimates it will take from four to six months to get the water licence and land use permits the project requires.

"One of the things that holds you back the most is the ability to schedule to plan for things like major purchases of equipment and so forth," he said.

"Now that we have approval and we have some relative certainty about how long the regulatory process will take, it kind of clears the road for all of these other things to happen."

Fortune is planning to start building the mine next year.

The project is located 50 kilometres northeast of Whati.

The company still has to arrange financing or find a partner with deeper pockets to develop the mine.

It's also still working on a critical element of the project: an all-weather road to ship concentrates from the mine to Saskatchewan for processing.

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